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The Crisis in Higher Education

The Crisis in Higher Education
A hundred years ago, higher education seemed on the verge of a technological revolution. The spread of a powerful new communication network—the modern postal system—had made it possible for universities to distribute their lessons beyond the bounds of their campuses. Anyone with a mailbox could enroll in a class. Frederick Jackson Turner, the famed University of Wisconsin historian, wrote that the “machinery” of distance learning would carry “irrigating streams of education into the arid regions” of the country. Sensing a historic opportunity to reach new students and garner new revenues, schools rushed to set up correspondence divisions. By the 1920s, postal courses had become a full-blown mania. The hopes for this early form of distance learning went well beyond broader access. We’ve been hearing strikingly similar claims today. The excitement over MOOCs comes at a time of growing dissatisfaction with the state of college education. But not everyone is enthusiastic. Rise of the MOOCs

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Does online education need to be free to succeed? Salman Khan, future billionaire? (credit: Khan Academy) Also see the three related posts today (below). — Ed. According to venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, technology will “disrupt” education as we know it, and maybe create a few billion-dollar companies along the way (see “The Crisis in Higher Education”), says Technology Review. 50 Top Sources Of Free eLearning Courses Whether you are looking for a master’s degree program, computer science classes, a K-12 curriculum, or GED study program, this list gives you a look at 50 websites that promise education for free. From databases that organize over 1,000,000 students throughout 16 universities, to a small library of documents for those interested in history, the opportunities for free online learning continue to expand as the Internet becomes a crucial component in education. 1. UMass Boston Open Courseware The UMass courseware offers a broad range of classes in areas like psychology, biology, early education, political science, history, mathematics, and others. Each department has a separate page listing the classes available.

Elite education for the masses They included Patrycja Jablonska in Poland, Ephraim Baron in California, Mohammad Hijazi in Lebanon and many others far from Baltimore who ordinarily would not have a chance to study at the elite Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They logged on to a Web site called Coursera and signed up. They paid nothing for it. These students, a sliver of the more than 1.7 million who have registered with Coursera since April, reflect a surge of interest this year in free online learning that could reshape higher education. The phenomenon puts big issues on the table: the growth of tuition, the role of a professor, the definition of a student, the value of a degree and even the mission of universities. 5 Ways to Handle Boring eLearning Content Like a Pro Have you ever been tasked with building eLearning games or courses, only to find that your sole source of material is a collection of lifeless, boring eLearning content? We’ve all been there: spending hours trying to put lipstick on a pig that is, well, still going to be a pig at the end of the day. No amount of sound effects or graphics can mask that pig. In moments like those, it’s easy to feel defeated, knowing that your learners are going to be miserable and that there isn’t a thing you can do about it… or, is there? During the course of my career, I have spent hours upon hours trying to come up with creative “lipstick” for boring content pieces until one year, faced with the challenge of yet another compliance eLearning course, I had a breakthrough: I realized that I didn’t need to spend any more time wrestling with that yawn-worthy content, and neither did the learner. I achieved this through (brace yourself Instructional Design World), not focusing on the content.

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Free Lectures Online Whether your goal is to earn a promotion, graduate at the top of your class, or just accelerate your life, lectures can help get you there. Our archives of lectures cover a huge range of topics and have all been handpicked and carefully designed by experienced instructors throughout the world who are dedicated to helping you take the next step toward meeting your career goals. Lifelong learns can turn their free time turn into self-improvement time. 11 Early Online Education Pioneers Who Paved the Way To Today While we tend to think of online education as a phenomenon welded largely to the past decade, in reality its history extends significantly further back than that. Think “before the Internet was even a thing that existed.” Experiments in welding computing to the classroom are almost as old as computing itself, with recognizable components of current Internet-based learning roughly (very roughly) appearing around the late 1950s and early 1960s.

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